The Gender-Specific Aspects of Lung Cancer

Rebecca L. Toonkel, Charles A. Powell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of lung cancer death and of cancer death in women of the world. While it is not yet clear if women are more susceptible to lung cancer, current evidence does suggest that women with lung cancer have an improved prognosis compared to men with similar cigarette smoke exposure. Potential explanations for observed gender disparities in lung cancer include environmental exposures, molecular genetic factors, and hormonal differences. The gap between male and female smoking prevalence is narrowing and we are likely to see the incidence and death rates from lung cancer in women begin to approach those in men. As research continues to be directed towards understanding gender-specific aspects of lung cancer susceptibility and prognosis, advocacy for public policy initiatives will help prevent and reduce smoking prevalence in girls and women. Exposure to environmental pollutants can be remediated, which is a strategy that may be helpful in lowering the incidence of lung cancer in never-smoking women in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrinciples of Gender-Specific Medicine
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780123742711
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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